STOKR 2007: Photo Gallery
Ready for the ride
STOKR organizer Susie Rice gives the riders last minute announcements on Saturday morning.
Line of riders
Saturday's rides had riders starting out at the Libby Chamber Visitor Center, then going west on US Hwy 2 towards Troy. The short ride returned to Libby. The longer ride went up to Yaak, then over Pipe Creek Pass, and back to Libby.
Rainy Sunday ride
The Sunday ride crew braved the rain to ride along the haul road and up to Libby Dam and back, approximately 37 miles round trip.
Libby Dam Park Ranger Mark Andreason checks the names list before allowing each rider across the top of the dam. The dam has been closed to the public since 9-11 in 2001.
The ride down from Libby Dam goes a lot faster than the climb up!
Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River Bike Ride, May 12-13, 2007
by Maggie Craig and Dawn Ballou, LibbyMT.com
May 13, 2007
Editor's Note: Organizers asked us to post this LOST & FOUND:
- A pair of reading glasses.
- A brooch-type watch left in the porta potty at the Summit.
- A Pearl Izumi windbreaker size XL.
- A grey and black Columbia vest. CLAIMED
- One REI glove. CLAIMED
- One water bottle.
If one of the above is yours, please contact Greg or Susie to retrieve. Also, if you would like to be identified in any of the pictures in our photo gallery, please e-mail us and tell us which photo and the names and we'll update our captions. If you have a great picture you took during the ride and would like to have it included in this story, please send it in! We welcome photos from anyone who would like to add a picture to this story, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 13th Annual Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River (STOKR) bike ride was held Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13th. The event is a fundraiser for the Kootenai Valley Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Funds raised go towards building affordable housing for low-income families in the Libby area.
Riders came from Alaska, California, Idaho, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming and Montana, as well as from Alberta and British Columbia, Canada to participate in this year's event.
The bike ride was limited to 400 entrants, 50 more this year than last year. The ride slots filled in a day and a half this year. Everyone who got their registration forms in postmarked February 15th, opening day, made it in, and the remainder filled from the applications postmarked the 16th.
The two-day ride has three race routes available, two on Saturday and one on Sunday morning. Riders had the choice of a short ride or a long ride on Saturday. The short route took bikers from Libby into Troy and back again. The 98-mile longer route book bikers from Libby to Troy, up the Yaak highway to the Dirty Shame Saloon, then up steep Pipe Creek road and pass over into Libby. Sunday's ride will go upriver from Libby to the Libby Dam and back again.
The weather was beautiful and sunny on Saturday, with temperatures in the high 70's. Everything was very green in the valleys with just a hint of snow at the top of Pipe Creek Pass. A weather system rolled in Saturday night bringing thunderstorms and lightning. By Sunday morning, all that was left was a drizzly rain, dropping temperatures into the 50's. There were about half the riders in Sunday's ride as there were on Saturday.
There were two riders injured in this yearís STOKR. Injuries have been a rarity in the 13-year history of the STOKR ride. One rider hit a hole on the descent and went over her handlebars. She got stitches for her injuries at St. Johnís Lutheran Hospital in Libby. The second accident, unrelated to the first, also happened on the long ride on Saturday. In that accident, a rider turned his head to look back at what might be coming up behind him on the Pipe Creek Road about two miles before the Pie Stop and he accidentally overlapped his wheel with the wheel of another rider next to him, causing him to wreck and tumble on the pavement. Fortunately, his helmet absorbed the brunt of the impact to his head. Dr. Greg Rice from Libby, and Dr. Barbara Smit, an Ophthalmologist from Spokane, Washington, were riding not far behind and came upon the scene shortly after it happened. They, along with some help from the STOKR support staff and vehicles, were able to stabilize the injured man until the Libby Volunteer Ambulance EMTs could be alerted. Because there is no cell reception in much of that area, someone had to drive down to the Red Dog farther down the road to get to a phone to call for help. The injured man spent the night at St. Johnís Lutheran Hospital for treatment and observation.
Many volunteers and community members come together to help make STOKR possible each year. Volunteers bake and cook goodies for the food stops and lunch meals, drive support and sag vehicles, do emergency bike repairs, help with signs and paperwork, man the checkpoints, set up/take down/clean-up crews, and more. Without their help, this event would not be possible.
Sponsors for this yearís STOKR were: Clif, The Western News, St. Johnís Lutheran Hospital, First National Bank of Montana, Rosauers, Glacier Bank, Venture Motor Inn, Plum Creek, J M F, Flathead Electric Company, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Western States Insurance Agency, The Printing Press and LibbyMT.com. Special thanks also to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office for escort vehicles and the Libby Volunteer Ambulance for emergency medical response, treatment and transport.
STOKR is always held the second weekend in May. Next year's STOKR will be May 10-11th. Mark your calendars and get your registration form in early!
Photos by Maggie Craig and Dawn Ballou-LibbyMT.com, and by Kyle Haugen, as indicated in the photo mouse-over tags.